As organizations begin to reopen or consider reopening in the next few weeks, there is a lot of discussion about what can be done to do this effectively while prioritizing the safety of everyone involved.
Obviously, everyone is eager to return to a life as normal as they once had, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that you don’t walk into a trap that you’ve created for yourself. I’ve developed a few concepts that every business should keep in mind while formulating their communication strategies during this time:
Don’t Forget What Got You to This Point
Yes, this new environment that you will be operating in might look radically different compared to a few months ago. That doesn’t mean you have to start over. The rules of effective communications still hold true. Communicate early and often, be transparent, and listen to your audience as much or more than you are speaking to them. Don’t completely alter your game plan that garnered the success you saw before this. Keep what was working, and evolve new ideas as they have become necessary. A two-way road of communication will always yield positive results.
Your Employees Can Be Your Greatest Ambassadors
Your most loyal, dedicated audience is your internal one. Your employees have placed their trust in you to provide a safe and effective workplace, and they have the potential to be your greatest ambassadors. The confidence you inspire in your front-line employees will be grounded in whether they feel that your organization is doing everything possible to protect their health and safety. That confidence can and will extend to consumers naturally if done correctly.
Be Honest About Your Evolving Processes
It is true that your initial plan to relaunch your business needs to be as airtight as possible. But as circumstances develop, your plan will have to quickly adjust to that. This doesn’t mean you got it wrong on your first try, and your loyal customers will see that as long as you are clear about your reasoning, your intentions, and your purpose as you go forward.
Remain Vigilant and Prepared
There appears to be a light at the end of this tunnel. That doesn’t mean that there is no way the worst is yet to come. Whether or not there are any future shutdowns, there will be many unique crises that come from this national pandemic that wouldn’t need to be considered as things to prepare for beforehand. Look at all touch points, operating procedures, and weak areas that were exposed the last few months and understand that they still exist as potential future issues.